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Abbingh: “It’s nice to be in the semifinals again!”

Photo credit: Germany 2017 / IHF

In a thrilling match, Netherlands booked a place in the semifinals, their fourth consecutive in a big tournament, after beating the Czech Republic by 30-26. The Dutch had to fight hard and maybe did not have their best day against a team that proved to be a tough bone to crack, and most definitely the surprise of this World Championship.

If you did not watch the news these days, you may have been surprised to find out that the Czech Republic were going to play in the quarter-finals of the World Championship in Germany. And I bet you could not imagine that they had defeated Romania on the first match of the knock out round. Well, welcome to #SimplyWunderbar. The Netherlands faced a very tough Czech team who did not give up,

Team captain of the Czech Republic was visibly sad, but also with a great sense of pride of her team. She talked to Handball-Planet.com after the match.

-How much dissappointed and how much pride do you feel right now?

-We are really sad, we are dissappointed, of course, we all cried. But we tried to play good and I think we played good, it wasnt’ easy for Holland and I think we can be proud.

-Did you think that in the end the goal difference was too much, that if you look at the much you were closer than 4 goals?

-It could’ve been closer, but we had too many 2 minute suspensions in the end and we had the chance we did some technicals fouls, and that was the key to our loss.

-What’s the balance you make of this World Championship?

-The balance is positive, of course. After the game against Romania everybody wrote to us, everybody was proud of us and I think that we made something special.

-Is this the beginning of something special for Czech Republic?

-I hope, I hope that a lot of children and adults watched our games, I hope they watched how we fought and I hope they will try to play harder and more.

-Could you say a word about one of your younger teammates, Marketa Jerabkova?

-She’s a really great player, she’s young and I think she will have a really good future.

On the other side, the top scorer of the match, Lois Abbingh (14 goals), was on the happy side of the story.

-It was a really hard match for us, we knew that if the Czech Republic stayed close to us for a long time it would be very exciting in the end, they showed that they have a great team, but I also felt we were in control so we managed to win in the end.

-It’s the Netherlands’ fourth consecutive semifinal in a big tournament, I bet you don’t take this for granted, right?

-No, I don’t think we see it like that, and also I feel like we have to work hard to achieve it because like today is not like we thought before the game that it would be easy and that we would win this. So I think it’s nice if you work hard and you win the games and you reach the semifinals again.

-Is there any pressure on your shoulders to reach this stage?

-Of course there’s pressure, also from the media, but we didn’t think about it that much in the tournament, we knew that we just wanted to play good and we’re not satisfied if we play like today, so that also keeps us focused for the next games.

-You scored 14 goals today, how are you feeling personally?

-I feel quite good, I feel strong and I think my team played very well for me today because there was a lot of space to make the goals so I’m really happy that I could score.

-Any preferences between Norway or Russia?

-No, it’s a nice feeling that we are in the semifinals, and now we’ll see…

Quote of the day: Helle Thomsen

“I don’t think we have been in the flow in this tournament. I think you see a team who really fight together and they have done that from the first game, we knew it before, it’s only you from the press who think we will go to the final and win the gold. If we see the seasons the players have had with their clubs, you’ll see some of the players are not playing so much, so I think they’re doing a really good job here”.

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